Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Jimmy Dean Sausage: Up Close and Personal

Friday, March 21, 2008

Foo Fighters Claim Canada the Best Country in the World

Last night, Thursday, March 20th saw the greatest rock band currently in business, the Foo Fighters play an exhausting two hour concert at the John Labatt Centre. Not that I'm biased or anything, but I did have to agree with singer, songwriter, drummer and guitarist and frontman for the band, Dave Grohl, when he rejoiced in Canada's status as the best country in the world. Who am I to argue with Dave?
It was a wild and crazy night as Dave ran up and down the central runway strutting his stuff like some sort of grungy, scruffy supermodel, pausing here and there to slam a few great riffs into adoring fans' ears.

For those of us down at the other end of the arena the best part of the show was when a circular stage gently descended from the rafters settling down just a few feet away from us. Dave and the gang played "Skin and Bones", "Marigold", "My Hero" and more in an acoustic set complete with keyboards, accordian, violin and a great "triangle" solo by percussionist Drew Hester.

You had to be there!

What is it about Dave Ghrol that his fans, including yours truly and my 17 yr. old daughter, eating out of his hand? It can't be the Grizzly Adams appearance with hair constantly hanging in his face...can it? Or his nondescript basic black grungy clothing. Or the fact that every other word rhymes with puck and pit.

No, I would have to say it's because of his massive talent and equally impressive charisma (like I said, you had to be there) that left us screaming for more. He certainly delivered the goods, especially when standing on top of the speakers letting loose with one of his rock god screams.

The last time the Foos were in London it was to open for Bob Dylan. Let's just say they more than made up for Bob's coldness and total lack of charm that night. Sorry ceeb, I know you're a big Dylan fan, so am I, at least of his music, not so much of the performer. It was as if Bob deigned to honour us with his presence, whereas Dave made us feel there was nowhere he'd rather be.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen New Great-Sounding Words I've Learned From Reading Books by P.D. James and Now Try to Inject into Everyday Conversations

1. Wodge: as in "Carlotta stuffed large wodges of paper towelling into the gaping wound in Hubert's chest but just couldn't seem to stem the geyser of blood."

2. Badinage: as in "failing utterly to amuse Cynthia with his badinage, Wilson's mood turned black leaving Cynthia's future looking bleak."

3. Frisson: as in "plunging the bread knife ever deeper into Garth's back Gwendolyn experienced an intense delicious frisson and wondered where she had left her cardigan."

4. Factotum: as in "Chief Inspector Tollerby tossed his overcoat, drycleaning, grocery list, several boxes of cold-case murder files and tea order in the general direction of his factotum, Gloria. as she hunched over to give his shoes a quick polish."

5. Rebarbative: as in "a smell so rebarbative the uniforms couldn't control their gagging; it emanated from the bath, where a bloated body had obviously been soaking for far too long..."

6. Plimsolls: as in "Farrell tiptoed down the alley hoping that no one would notice all he was wearing was an over-sized pair of neon orange plimsolls..."

7. Venal: "Trevor, with his usual venal charm, smirked widely as he accepted the usual payoff for his amorous, if quickly efficient, attentions."

8. Insouciance: as in "with deceptive insouciance, Belinda chuckled as her husband's blood dripped steadily from a three inch slit in his throat onto her white satin pumps as he lay sprawled across her lap."

9. Ersatz: as in "would you like some coffee? Well, I don't know...is it real coffee or ersatz?"

10. Perfidy: as in "by the perfidy of her ex-lover, Barbara's current lover, Frederick, hung upside down at the bottom of the well, slowly drowning in six inches of mosquito infested sludge."

11. Effluvium: as in "an unpleasant effluvium of death invaded the outer office as the door swung steadily open causing Edward to back up step by step until he felt the icy tip of a steely blade press into the back of his neck..."

12. Filth: as in "we'd better get out of here before the bloody filth arrive and haul us off to the clink..." On second thought, I don't think it would be wise to use this one too often.

13. Quartosized: as in "with shaking hands, Timothy opened the quartosized letter, knowing without a doubt it was his long dead wife's handwriting...how could this be?"

I'm rather late getting this list out. I play volleyball on Wednesday nights and then worked all day today. Now I have a lovely four day Easter weekend - what a treat!

Happy TT everyone!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Soon I hope! Still snowy here in Southern Ontario...

Blessings! May all your eggs be chocolate!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Top 100 Movies

Here's a great Sunday afternoon blogging idea borrowed from A Gentleman's Domain who, in turn borrowed it from Lillasyster's Life who got the list of 100 top movies from IMDb.

It looks as though I spend a little too much time watching Turner Classic Movies channel but I've always had a passion for movies, old and new, since discovering my mother's movie magazines from the 1930's and 40's in the closet under the stairs. I think that's where my mother must have picked up her leggy pose and penchant for dramatic clothing (the magazines, not the closet). Ahhh mom, Linda Darnell couldn't hold a candle to you!
Just last night I watched "No Country for Old Men" (that one will need a second viewing I think) bringing my total to 65 out of 100 movies seen on this list. Tommy Lee Jones seems to be in just about every movie going these days, but I do like his craggy ol' face. He and his deputy bring a little levity to this heavy movie. How many have you seen from this list?
1. The Godfather (1972)
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
8. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
9. Casablanca (1942)
10. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
11. Star Wars (1977)
12. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
13. 12 Angry Men (1957)
14. Rear Window (1954)
15. Goodfellas (1990)
16. Cidade de Deus (2002)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
19. C'era una volta il West (1968)
20. The Usual Suspects (1995)
21. Psycho (1960)
22. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
23. Fight Club (1999)
24. Citizen Kane (1941)
25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
26. North by Northwest (1959)
27. Memento (2000)
28. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
29. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
30. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
31. The Matrix (1999)
32. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
33. There Will Be Blood (2007)
34. Se7en (1995)
35. Apocalypse Now (1979)
36. Taxi Driver (1976)
37. American Beauty (1999)
38. Léon (1994)
39. Vertigo (1958)
40. Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (2001)
41. American History X (1998)
42. The Departed (2006)
43. No Country for Old Men (2007)
44. Paths of Glory (1957)
45. M (1931)
46. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
47. Chinatown (1974)
48. The Third Man (1949)
49. Leben der Anderen, Das (2006)
50. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
51. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
52. Alien (1979)
53. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
54. Laberinto del fauno, El (2006)
55. The Shining (1980)
56. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
57. The Pianist (2002)
58. Double Indemnity (1944)
59. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
60. Forrest Gump (1994)
61. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
62. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
63. L.A. Confidential (1997)
64. Das Boot (1981)
65. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
66. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
67. Untergang, Der (2004)
68. Aliens (1986)
69. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
70. Raging Bull (1980)
71. Metropolis (1927)
72. Rashômon (1950)
73. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
74. Modern Times (1936)
75. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
76. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
77. Sin City (2005)
78. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
79. Rebecca (1940)
80. Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
81. All About Eve (1950)
82. Some Like It Hot (1959)
83. City Lights (1931)
84. Amadeus (1984)
85. On the Waterfront (1954)
86. Vita è bella, La (1997)
87. The Great Escape (1963)
88. Touch of Evil (1958)
89. The Prestige (2006)
90. The Elephant Man (1980)
91. Jaws (1975)
92. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
93. The Sting (1973)
94. Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
95. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
96. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
97. The Apartment (1960)
98. Braveheart (1995)
99. The Great Dictator (1940)
100. Blade Runner (1982)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Need of a Wife

Many times over the long years of single parenting I have often felt things would be a whole lot easier "if I only had a wife" (why do I suddenly feel like dancing down a yellow brick road?) However, as a woman of heterosexual persuasion I haven't yet figured out a way to make that work.

I suppose one answer would be to hire a cleaning service like Molly Maid, but really I don't feel my house is presentable enough to let someone come in and clean it! (if ya know what I mean and I know that you do!)

Do I really want a stranger shaking her head in disgust as she tries to scrub red wine drips out of my carpet? Again? Besides, if I had a wife she would do it for free. Right? And if I had a wife she would bring me my 3rd glass of red wine so I wouldn't have to stumble around with it myself thereby eliminating the need for rug scrubbing altogether.

And while I was sitting feet up in my Lazyboy recliner after a hard day of teaching, sipping my well-deserved wine and lingering over the daily newspaper, I could try to guess what succulent delights were on the supper menu based on the aromas of home cooking coming from the general direction of the kitchen, wherever that might be because I wouldn't have to know seeing as I had a wife. Beulah, peel me a grape! No, bring me the bottle!

Sigh....however, as no one has yet responded to my personal ads looking for a wife, I guess I'll have to survive on Costco's BBQ'd chicken wings and pick up a few more area rugs to cover the wine stains.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Earth Hour 2008

Earth hour has come to London, Ontario! Check it out at www.london.ca/earthhour . Along with a link to the Earth Hour website, there were some suggestions about what to do during the one hour without gadgets and screens.

One suggestion was to play hide and go seek with your children. I was reminded of a game I used to play as a youngster with cousins and friends when the adults were "visiting" (read playing cards and knocking back a few) that we called Ghost Tag.

You could only play ghost tag in the dark and outside. It was similar to hide and go seek but scarier. Hunters could sneak up unseen on their prey in the dark and hearing the shrieks of your friends when they got caught just increased the anticipation/dread/heart attack when you were finally grabbed from behind without warning. It was great fun...for those who survived!

Check out http://www.earthhour.org/ for more information and sign yourself up. See if your city is taking part.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hazelnut's First Thursday Thirteen

It's that time of year when "The Taxman Cometh!" I've been reading an excellent book called "The 10 Secrets Revenue Canada Doesn't Want You To Know!" by David M. Voth and he includes a looooooooooooong list of taxes that we pay everyday that adds up to in excess of 50% of our annual income. Scary!
Here are 13 of them:

1. Federal Income and estate taxes. I'll also add in Provincial Income taxes to #1 as we can't pay one without the other.
2. Payroll taxes (I can't bear to look at my paycheques!)
3. G.S.T. The Goods and Services Tax that is added onto almost everything we buy or use in addition to #4. (Fondly thought of as the Goldarn Stupid Tax by this nut!) Our government never stops reminding us that it has reduced this tax from 7% to 5% over the past 2 years. Big whoop.
4. Provincial sales tax - which varies from province to province. If you are lucky enough to live in Alberta, home of the huge oil sands, then your provincial sales tax is zip, but here in Ontario you pay 8% more than that.
5. Real Estate property tax
6. Personal property taxes
7. School taxes - who said public education was free?
8. Business taxes - if you can afford to have a business.
9. Gasoline taxes - a very popular tax to pay these days. (1/3 of the total cost of the gas)
10. Import duty taxes.
11. Sin taxes: what we pay if we indulge in alcohol (duh) or ciggies.
12. Travel taxes - they get you coming or going on this one.
13. Excise taxes.

There are more on the list but aren't you depressed enough already?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gov. Spitzer Resigns

So much has been said over the years why women shouldn't hold public office because their "time of the month" might interfere with their duties, perhaps rendering them too emotional and unable to make the "tough decisions".
You know - a few tears never hurt anyone (well, maybe Hillary) but the number of political trouser snakes on the loose over the years has done untold damage to the U.S.
(I don't think Canadian premiers and prime ministers have sex!)
Well Spitzer, I hope it was worth $80,000 and the loss of your career.

Brian Melo - Shine (Album Preview 1/2)

Yes, I am still nuts about Canadian Idol winner Brian Melo. Unfortch I can't post the "official" music video for this release from his first album. For the real thing you can go to www.youtube.ca or check out youtube at the bottom of my page. I subscribe to BrianMeloMusic so you'll see it sooner or later.

March Break - I'm Still Here and I'm Still Nuts

While many lucky people are spending this week walking along the beach, kicking sand, collecting shells for future crafty projects (gagging sound), I am still here in London, Ontario. The photo above was taken just a few days ago after a lovely 30 hour snow shower. That's like a rain shower except white, fluffy, cold and about 2 feet deep!

While some of us here are complaining (silently), others in Quebec are becoming victims of SNOW RAGE! I kid you not. Those French folk, those colourful little Quebecois, are letting their hot temperament get the better of them and are striking out at their neighbours with shovels, bare hands, and in one case - a 12 guage shotgun.

While watching CTV news last night, a Canadian tradition, I listened to Lloyd (as in Lloyd Robertson - that famous news anchorman - what is he doing with his hair??) describe a situation that happened on Sunday in Quebec City. Apparently a snow-plower for hire accidentally blew some snow into a neighbour's yard. The 63 yr. old man became irate and banged the snow plow with his shovel. Although receiving an apology he hastened into his garage and grabbed his shotgun. When he began to cock the gun the plower woman became a wee bit frightened and called 911.

Another incident in January, also in Quebec City, saw another irate man grab and choke his elderly neighbour after she also accidentally blew snow into his yard. Tabernac! I wonder if these men would have attacked in quite the same way if the antagonizers had been men, and I'm thinking probably yes, as they were likely in a blind rage.

So although the snow here is deep I haven't encountered any Snow Rage yet, and since I live in a condo and my sidewalk and parking lot are plowed for me I should be safe. And though I am still nutty for spending my March Break here in London, setting up this new blog, I'm not nearly as cracked up as those crazee frenchies!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just How Nutty Am I?

I have to say that I like all kinds of nuts. Just keep your mind out of the gutter, however, and we'll get along just fine. I only talk about walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts etc and....oh yes, I often refer to myself and other folk I know as "nutty" or "off their nut" and if I get really upset I just might whip off a bold "nuts to you" type comment.
Take today for instance. Although I am well past my lunch-time I have yet to leave the computer to go downstairs and partake of some. Instead, I sit here trying to start up a blog in the hopes that there just might be some people out there, like me (hear me out), who will stop by to visit and share their wisdom with me from time to time.
People like me could be over 50 years old (yikes, I admit it, I'm over half a century old - but only on the OUTSIDE!), a single parent, (I have a 17 year old princess but that's another post, or even another whole blog...hmmmmm), a teacher, a family history researcher, and/or could be trying, really trying to live a simpler and hence greener lifestyle.
So welcome to "Just How Nutty Am I?" and let's explore the world's nuttier side. So many nuts, so little time....